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Big crowds turn out for women's marches around the world

access_time Jan 21,2017 chat_bubble_outline 36 views
Big crowds turn out for women's marches around the world

CHICAGO (AP) — Legions of women flooded streets and city squares from Sydney to South Carolina on Saturday, marching in solidarity as a show of empowerment and a stand against Donald Trump.

More than 600 "sister marches" were planned across the country and abroad in conjunction with the Women's March on Washington, which drew hundreds of thousands to the capital a day after Trump became president of the United States.

Turnout was high at many of the rallies, requiring some protesters to make last-minute adjustments. In Chicago, so many people turned out that organizers canceled a march through downtown for safety reasons and instead extended a rally at a park.

Here's a closer look at some of the marches taking place around the world:

LONDON

Samantha Moyo looked out at the tens of thousands of marchers sardined into London's Trafalgar Square with a look of contentment, even bliss.

The 30-year-old Londoner, originally from Zimbabwe, was overwhelmed by the size of the crowd, and its determination to challenge Trump's world view.

"I'm a black, immigrant bisexual woman, and the fact that women all over the world are standing up for what they believe in, and that I was invited to be on the front line, feels like a huge privilege," she said after helping to lead the march that snaked through central London, stopping traffic at times in the metropolis.

"I have a feeling of love and excitement in my heart, thinking of how far we've come."

Moyo said she was initially worried about Trump's policies but has come to believe he will inspire resistance.

"I just feel a huge amount of celebration and optimism for the future," she said.

Police described the event as entirely peaceful with no arrests.

Protesters, including many men, displayed a grab-bag of grievances about the new president's policies. Some criticized his view on climate change and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Others cited his treatment of women and minorities.

CHICAGO

So many people turned out for the women's march in Chicago that organizers had to cancel the march portion.

They say the planned march through downtown was no longer possible due to public safety concerns, but they instead extended the rally at Grant Park.

Dorothy DeCarlo was among the throngs of people who gathered near the park. The 69-year-old burned her bra for women's rights in college 50 years ago and said it was shameful that Saturday's marches and rallies were even necessary.

"I thought we took the bruises. I thought it was over," she said.

PARIS

Several thousand people, including many American workers and students living in France, gathered in the Eiffel Tower neighborhood in a joyful atmosphere.

They sang and carried posters with slogans such as "We have our eyes on you Mr. Trump" and "With our sisters in Washington."

Anne Tiracchia, from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was on vacation in France where her son lives. In French, she wrote "Let us resist the catastrophe" on a U.S. flag.

"It's important because Trump wants to destroy 50 years of progress, he wants to go back to smoke coming out of factories and women staying home and having babies," Tiracchia said. "He won't change. He doesn't care. But we have to show we don't agree with him."

More than 40 feminist and anti-racist groups organized the Paris march.

NEW YORK

Demonstrators crammed near Trump World Tower for the Women's March on New York City say the new president may be from there — but he's no New Yorker.

"New York is a community in itself, and people care about each other, and it's diverse," said Ashia Badi, 44, who brought her two daughters to Midtown Manhattan to march in protest of Trump. "He doesn't feel like he has those New York values I see."

New York City and state overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton.

On Saturday, thousands of people donning pink knit hats held signs that read "Women's rights are human rights" and "Putin's puppet."

Patricia Palermo, one of six women wearing surgical masks that say "save the ACA" (Affordable Care Act) said she would fight Trump's effort to eviscerate the law. She said she met the president once doing real estate .

New Yorkers know Trump, she said. "That's why most New Yorkers are against him. We've seen him in person."

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

Rebecca Munnerlyn had never marched at the South Carolina Capitol before. But when she listened to Trump's inaugural speech she knew she had to join thousands of other women marching Saturday.

"His words are against women. His actions have been against women," Munnerlyn said. "I had to come out."

Several thousand women filled the Statehouse steps with signs like "Make America Think Again" and "You Can't Comb Over Sexism." They chanted "Black Lives Matter" and "Health Care For All" before walking around the capitol grounds and to a nearby business to plan for more protests.

Trump's speech rekindled Munnerlyn's worst fears about the next four years.

"The next war won't be started by sinking a ship. I fear it will be started by a bad tweet," Munnerlyn said.

SYDNEY

Demonstrators flooded a popular central Sydney park carrying placards with slogans including "Women of the world resist," ''Feminism is my trump card" and "Fight like a girl."

Organizer Mindy Freiband told the crowd hatred, bigotry and racism are not only America's problems.

"This is the beginning of something, not the end," she said.

Protester Alyssa Smith, who came with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, said she worried about the future after Trump's election. She said she didn't want her daughter growing up in the world "where hatred is commonplace."

Charlotte Wilde said she shed tears watching Trump get sworn in. The 33-year-old said the businessman's rise to the presidency left her in a state of horror, and attending Saturday's rally was a way to feel empowered.

A plane was seen skywriting "TRUMP" over the rally.

Skywriting Australia owner Rob Vance said the sign was commissioned by Trump fans who wanted to remain anonymous.

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY

Sarah Gospodar likened the chilly, damp rally at Trenton's War Memorial to the civil rights marches of the 1960s, when people came together peacefully to effect change.

"As a middle-aged black woman, I've seen a lot in my life — things that divided this country and things that united it," the 53-year-old Ewing woman said. "And these issues we address today are things that should unite us. How can anyone be against equal pay and fair and equal rights for all Americans?"

Gospodar acknowledged she's no fan of Trump but said she will give him the chance to "show he really does want to make America great." She said if Trump's opponents want respect for their views, they must show the president and his backers the same respect.

Mary Morrisey, 35, of Trenton, said she didn't mind standing in the cold because the demonstration was an opportunity to make things better for people across the nation, especially LGBT people and minorities. She held a handmade sign that read "Girls just want to have fundamental rights."

"We may go about things differently, but we all want the same thing: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Morrisey said.

YANGON, MYANMAR

Dozens attended a "solidarity picnic" in Yangon organized by Alyssa Paylor of Colorado and other U.S. expats.

"We're not able to have a march in this climate, so we wanted to just gather together in solidarity with our sisters and brothers marching in Washington and all across the world because of what we believe in," said Paylor, 26. She is in Myanmar working for an organization called Mote Oo Education for Curriculum Development.

Paylor said Trump's election and the United Kingdom's Brexit vote motivated people to get involved.

"I think these things have energized a lot of people and made many people, especially women, very angry about what they may have to deal with in the coming years," she said.

PRAGUE

Hundreds gathered in freezing weather in a busy city square in the Czech capital of Prague, waving portraits of Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin and holding banners that read "This is just the beginning," ''Kindness" and "Love."

"We are worried about the way some politicians talk, especially during the American elections," organizer Johanna Nejedlova said.

PARK CITY, UTAH

Charlize Theron led crowd in a chant of "Love, not hate, makes America great" on Main Street in Park City, Utah.

Marchers there included many celebrities gathered for the Sundance Film Festival, including Chelsea Handler and Benjamin Bratt. A steady snow fell as marchers headed past one of the festival's theatres.

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

At a rally in Concord, author Jodi Picoult told the crowd, "We in New Hampshire are not in the habit of going in reverse. We have the backs of those who are less fortunate — who may be struggling for health care, for environmental rights, for racial equality, for a fair wage, for justice.

"We are in this together. And we know that change does not come from the top down, but from the bottom up."

___

Katz reported from London. Also contributing to this report were: Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, S.C.; Sylvie Corbet in Paris; Karel Janicek in Prague; David Rising in Berlin; Esther Htusan in Yangon, Myanmar; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, N.J.; Ryan Pearson in Park City, Utah; and Rachelle Blidner and Colleen Long in New York.

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